"We don’t have much time," explained the 43-year-old. Tim wiese also has to get a move on: the ex-national goalkeeper doesn’t get a free pass from kurz. "We have three good goalkeepers. And we have time in preparation where everyone can present themselves," said the 1899 coach when asked if wiese is number 1. The former bremer had shown partly desolate performances in the preliminary round and had – of all things – been demoted by the then coach markus babbel when he got injured. Since then, the 20-year-old belgian koen casteels stood between the posts. Wiese is also no longer sure of his captain’s armband, even though he said briefly: "I haven’t given it any thought yet."
Hoffenheim will not be bringing in a new goalkeeper in any case, said kurz. "We keep our eyes open, want to make the defensive strong," explained the former coach of the 1. FC kaiserslautern. There is a particular need in the defensive midfield: U 21 national player sebastian rudy was on the sidelines after his ankle operation in december with crutches. He will be out for another three months. At the start of preparation was otherwise missing only the brazilian roberto firmino, who is as agreed only on thursday.
With new signings before the start of the second half of the season on 19. January against borussia monchengladbach, said manager andreas muller, it was "very, very difficult. The possibilities are limited". TSG has signed the talents junior ponce (alianza lima/peru) and zach pfeffer (philadelphia union/USA), but they will still be playing for their clubs during the return season.
After the worst first half of the bundesliga since promotion in 2008 and six defeats in a row, the team from hoffenheim is already seven points away from the relegation zone. "We want to make a fresh start, that’s clear," said muller. "We have high hopes that we will present ourselves as a team, as a unit."
Kurz is familiar with this precarious situation: a year ago, he and kaiserslautern plummeted to the bottom of the league table and were relegated to the top 20. Marz suspended after 16 games without a win. Under his luckless successor krassimir balakow, the "red devils" were relegated in the end.
In his address to the team, the new TSG coach demanded that the players "deal with the situation very offensively, that they don’t hide."If another professional were to look for alibis or niches, "that would be madness. The 250 fans at the fence of the training ground even buried the players with applause. Kurz saw it after the first training session and before the flight to the training camp on monday to portimao/portugal quite nuchtern: "when a new coach is there, the team will never make a bad impression the first day."
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